While this week has been dominated by the last presidential debate, Wikileaks, discussing whether locker room talk actually exists, you probably missed former DNC chairman Howard Dean’s trainwreck interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, who asked him how the Clinton campaign will get ahead of the rather unsettling accusation that there was an alleged quid pro quo offer between the FBI and the State Department. Both State and the FBI have stringently denied that any such arrangement occurred, though it was mentioned in the latest batch of the FBI’s notes on the investigation into Clinton’s email server that were released this week.
The notes indicate that the Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy offered a quid pro quo concerning reclassifying some of Clinton’s emails in return for more FBI agents being allowed to enter forbidden countries. Howard Dean seemed to think that these FBI notes and Wikileaks were the same, spouting off the talking point that these were fake, and that the Russians leaked it. It’s mere innuendo from the mind of someone’s imagination, according to Dean.
Roberts reminded him that this wasn’t the Russians who indicated this, but the FBI.
“No, no sir this is not Wikileaks,” said Roberts before mentioning the FBI, and the allegation that Kennedy tried to influence the investigation.
“This makes no sense to me at all. This sounds like late in the campaign tricks that are meaningless,” replied Dean.
Roberts then said that Trump would be likely to bring this up during the third and final debate, asking (again) Dean how the Clinton campaign would respond. Dean said that Clinton should just keep doing what she’s doing with her past scandals, which is to deny, deny, and deny some more. Granted, some accusation, like Vince Foster’s suicide, is a bit far-fetched, but there is some glaring ethical issues concerning the sale of Uranium One to the Russian state corporation Rosatom, which the Committee on Foreign Investment signed off on; Clinton is one of the principals on that committee.
To make a long story short, the chairman of Uranium One used his own family charity to donate more that $2 million to the Clinton Foundation, while a bank selling Uranium One futures paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a paid speech, while this sale was in negotiations. The approval of the sale made the Russians one of the world’s largest uranium producers; Uranium One had mining interests in the U.S.
Dean was just not prepared for this interview, which showed when he seemed to think that the FBI notes were Wikileaks documents. Any allegation of quid pro quo, especially with the Clintons, whether it’s true or not, is news. The fact that this was even discussed (based on these notes) is unsettling. Moreover, Dean, or any Democrat, wouldn’t have said that these allegations are meaningless if a Republican were in the crosshairs.
Here's the relevant portion of that note,courtesy of The Washington Free Beacon/Politico:
In an exchange that included redacted names, the interview notes state that “[REDACTED] received a call from [REDACTED] of the International Operations Division (IOD) of the FBI, who ‘pressured’ him to change the classified email to unclassified. [REDACTED] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo.’”